Boris Johnson was joined by engineers and former Minister for London and Labour MP Nick Raynsford earlier today when he visited the site of a proposed new airport in the Thames Estuary.
Mr Johnson has made clear his opposition to any further development at Heathrow and has been calling on Ministers to consider his idea of an airport on the Thames along the lines of Chek Lap Kok in Hong Kong. In November he asked Doug Oakervee, Executive Chair of Crossrail, to conduct a preliminary feasibility study into the proposal.
In November a spokesman for the Mayor said the Oakervee study involved no costs and that the Mayor was intending public money be spent building the airport should the project proceed.
Speaking today the Mayor said his trip had “reaffirmed in my mind that a new airport in the Thames estuary has got to be factored in as an option for London’s long-term aviation needs. I am reassured by a number of aspects of this visit and will now eagerly await Doug Oakervee’s initial feasibility study.”
Opponents accuse the Mayor of pursuing an “unrealistic” policy.
Accompanying the Mayor’s party was Dr Graham Plant who has worked on civil engineering and building projects across the world.
Raynsford, who is chairing of a new cross-party parliamentary group on the proposal, said: “I have always believed that the estuary was a potential site for London’s main airport and today’s visit has reinforced that view.”
City Hall says the Oakervee is expected to be completed “around the end of March”.